jscheff asked this question 4 months, 1 week ago:

Is taking a downgrade a good idea

I’m an Army civilian and I’ve been seriously considering finding a job in Germany. Visited Germany many time and know several people who have taken assignments in Germany that all have reported positive experiences. I’ve applied for a several jobs and referred to most but never hear anything after. I decided to apply for 1 grade lower as well as current grade and promotion.

I’m currently a GS14 stateside. There are a whole lot of GS13 jobs in my series in Germany and not that many at the GS 14 and 15 levels. 

i was referred a few days ago for a GS13...almost the very next day the selecting official reached out to my references and two days later I now have an interview Monday morning.

Question...assuming pay retention is given, is there anything I should be aware of or considering that would be a result of taking a lower grade? I’m not taking the job unless given PCS, LQA, and pay retention...all listed as available on the job announcement. Do you think this will have longer term career impacts when returning stateside? High 3 not an issue as I have 18 years until retirement. Do I return to a GS14 at the end of the tour? Want to stay for 5 years so daughter can finish High School.



4 months, 1 week ago


Might want to pose this question in a group/on a page which is more aligned with Civil Service rules/procedures/HR issues as you're wanting solid answers to your questions.

IMHO I would think taking a downgrade would not hurt your chances for upward movement when your ready to move on after five years. You have 18 years left to retirement so I think you would be alright at the 13 year point to retirement. At the end of the day it all boils down to the retirement check at the end of your civil service career. That being the case max out your TSP contributions every year while you're here along with an IRA and you'll be fine when it comes retirement time. 

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

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4 months, 1 week ago


Thank you for your advice. I am definitely looking into the issue with HR. i wanted to hear the thoughts from this community as you have “walked the walk”. I realized that this is the only hesitation I had in this and was looking to see if others had advice. I’ve talked to over with my family and they are all 100% in!

Great advice on the TSP too. This was advice I already received and you confirmed it. Plan is to sell the house here in Maryland and have zero debt with cash in the bank invested for when we return. Nothing to spend our money on except savings, basic needs, and seeing Germany. I’m really looking forward to just enjoying my family and experiencing Europe together without having to fix a deck, paint the pouch, repair the leaking faucet...etc. I also think that my daughter attending high school in Germany will offer experiences that just can’t be easily research on the DoDEA schools are well funded and great programs. 

i haven’t got the job yet, but I feel confident. And if not this one then I’m staying positive that it will come in time.

thanks again.

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